Kid Lit: Back To School Books #BTS

Whether your children are going to preschool for the first time, entering kindergarten or another elementary school grade, going back to school (BTS) can be both an exciting and daunting experience for children. Reading books about BTS can help ease children’s nerves and reassure them about starting school, going to a brand new school or even entering a new grade.

Here are few of our family favs:

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The Pout Pout Fish Goes To School (Macmillian)

Mr. Fish is nervously awaiting his first day of school, and he flub-flubs, blub-blubs and counts off his troubles of not knowing how to write his name, how to draw shapes and how to do math.Continue reading ⇒

Tick “Tech” Tock – Vtech Kidzoom® Smartwatch Review & Giveaway

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Are your kids like mine, tech-savvy?

At age seven and just a smidge under five, I believe my son and daughter’s brains were  pre-wired in the womb to figure out today’s technology.

More and more they are the ones who teach this mom how to use my smartphone and other devices. They’re also my greatest resource in finding out about the newest apps and games to download!Continue reading ⇒

Shopping In My PJs – A Walmart/P&G Giftcard Giveaway

The Walmart gift cards and information have been provided by P&G. All opinions though are my very own.

Ah summer. It’s definitely my favorite season of the year. I love to be outdoors, enjoying the warm weather and spending as much time with my family as possible. So why would I want to interrupt my fun in the sun to run errands at the grocery store to pick up household staples when I can have them conveniently delivered right to my doorstep?

Walmart.comWith a just a few quick clicks of my mouse on Walmart.com or taps on my phone with the Walmart Smartphone app, I can get great deals on all my household essentials and have them shipped to me for free, when I spend $50 or more.

You may not know it, but I’m a total neat and clean freak when it comes to my home.  “A place for everything and everything in its place” is my motto.  I hate dishes left in the sink at night, laundry in the hamper and the worst is dirty floors.

So when I logged onto Walmart.com I was looking to stock up on cleaning supplies.  I found loads of Proctor & Gamble (P&G) products at great, low prices.  Suddenly, I was transported to my happy neat & clean place.

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The Wall of Sound – HTC One Harman Kardon Smartphone & Sprint Sound Sessions Review #SprintMusic #SprintMom

“I participated in an Influencer Activation Program on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for Sprint Sound Sessions. I received a sample of the HTC One to facilitate this review and a promotional item to thank me for participating.” As always, all opinions expressed on this site are my very own.  Please be sure to do your own research, as your opinion may differ.

Have you ever heard the saying “music hath charms to soothe a savage beast?”  Not that I am comparing myself to a savage beast, but music certainly plays a role in setting both my temperament and emotions.

When I’m working in my office, I often listen to music played off my smartphone. I mostly listen to 80s music.  Lots of songs from that era feature fast tempos that help me get into a groove when I’m writing.  When I’m in the kitchen, I’ll play hits from the 70s including tunes. The sing-songy nature of that music gets me moving melodically as I make dinner.   If I want to chill, I listen to classic crooners from the 1950s.

However, just as important as the music selection is to setting my mood, so is the sound quality. Quite honestly, the sound quality from most smartphones is pretty horrible — whether it be for music, video or just plain talking on the phone. It always sound tinny and the music is muddy, never quite picking up bass or drum beats.

THM_HTCHarmanKardon_2That was until I got to personally experience the HTC One® Harman Kardon® edition – a Sprint exclusive smartphone with a premium sound experience. I first checked it out at a Sprint Sound Sessions event that was recently held in NYC.

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Bringing a Child’s Artwork to Life With Their Own Custom Made Stuffed Animal – Budsies Review

Did you have a favorite stuffed animal growing up that you carried everywhere with you? What about your kids? Do they have a favorite that they can’t seem to put down?

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Check out these stuffed animals, they’re my kidlet’s newest favs. Not only are these dolls cute, cuddly and colorful, but my kidlets actually designed them.  Yes, these two dolls were created from artwork that my kidlets made and turned into a reality through a wonderfully whimsical company called Budsies.

Budsies brings artwork to life created by children (or adults!), by creating one-of-a-kind stuffed dolls.

The Budsies process to make your own doll is super simple. Your child creates a color drawing using crayons, markers or even paint. It can be of anything your child desires…an animal, a person or even an object. Then you take a picture of it and upload from your computer or smartphone to Budsies website to order. In five weeks or less a custom-made stuffed animal inspired by your child’s drawing arrives at your home.

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Liberty Science Center – #ScienceSummerFun Giveaway

What do you do with your kids on summer days when you’re tired of going to the park, beach, library or movies? What about on rainy days? While the Hubs and I might want to go to a museum, the kidlets prefer places where they can have lots of fun and get “hands on.”

PrintThe Liberty Science Center is just the place to meld our parental & kidlet preferences. It’s a 300,000 square foot fun learning center located on the banks of the Hudson River in Jersey City’s Liberty State Park.  You should make the trip over there just to see the spectacular and unobstructed views of the Statue of Liberty and lower Manhattan, including the Freedom Tower.

Dedicated to bringing the excitement of science to people of all ages, Liberty Science Center (LSC for short!) features 12 museum halls featuring ongoing exhibitions such as Skyscraper!, Infection Connection, Energy Quest and Communication. They also host a live animal collection with 110 species and giant aquariums where you can actually touch sea creatures. The Center also houses a 3D theater, the nation’s largest IMAX Dome theater and tornado/hurricane-force wind simulators.

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Family Friendly Video Game Preview: LEGO® Ninjago™: Nindroids™ & Game Giveaway

After our plans for a day at the beach were thwarted by combination of horrific traffic and drizzly weather this past weekend, the family wound up stopping at a local mall to eat lunch and do some window shopping.  We eventually wandered into a GameStop store, since my seven-year old son has turned into quite the gamer.

LNN Poster Charging RGB 1as Preview When he’s in a competitive mode, he plays Xbox with either his dad or friends. More often though, he likes playing solo, and turns to his  Nintendo 3DSXL, which he got for his birthday last year instead of having a party.

He’s got quite the growing roster of 3DS games in his collection, but his favorite ones by far are LEGO®-related games. So when he saw an in-store ad for LEGO® Ninjago™: Nindroids™ he went crazy and can’t wait to get the game to try it out for himself.

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Kid Lit: Avoiding “Summer Slide” – Read A Book, Or How About Forty Of Them!

Ah, summertime!  It’s what my kidlets look forward to all year.  Two solid months of fun, excitement and no stress.  Days filled with playing, hanging out with friends, swimming, making crafts and eating lots of ice cream.   Hearing about my kidlet’s daily adventures makes me wish I could be a kid again – having a pretty-much carefree summer instead of going to work everyday.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-boy-girl-reading-books-image19977713However, as many of you moms out there would agree, while I want my kidlets to enjoy their break, I don’t want them to suffer from “summer slide.”  That’s what happens when young minds sit idle for weeks at a time without any learning instruction.  To help avoid this, I enrolled both the kidlets in our local library’s summer reading program.

Each of my kidlets – my son is almost seven, my daughter is 4½ – got their own personalized reading log.  We keep the logs hung up on the bulletin board in our kitchen for easy access.

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One Brick At A Time – LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester Review

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Back in the early 80s, when I was about nine years old, I had a friend who was totally obsessed with LEGO®.  I loved to have play dates at her house because on the floor of her bedroom she had built an entire LEGO town.

It was completeTHM_LEGOLANDDISCOVERYCENTER_LegoTown2 with houses, police & fire stations, apartment buildings, a hospital, a gas station, an airport and the streets were even dotted with trees, flowers, bushes and light posts.

There were lots of LEGO men doing things throughout the town, pumping gas, flying planes and doing construction.  I don’t seem to remember there being too many LEGO women around, but my favorite ones were the ones who worked at the hospital.  They had crazy 60s-style beehive hairdos that curled up at the ends!

Flash forward to today and you can still find me playing and building with LEGO, but this time it’s with my kidlets.

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Kid Lit: Another “Good Question!”

A few months back I wrote about how my kidlets ask me about a million questions a day and how I used Good Question! books to help me answer some of their more probing ones.   My kidlets devoured those books and by the time they were finished with each of the five books we had, they were all smarty pants about things like the five senses, the American Civil War, the Earth, how plants grow, how a caterpillar turns into a butterfly and our solar system!   And then another round of questions began….

THM_GoodQuestion_1Thankfully a new series of Good Question! books recently showed up at our home, courtesy of Sterling Children’s Books, so once again, I’ve got answers!

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